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W-MCP2-4.043 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his sister, Ruby
Apr 15 1905 Friday [Postmark]
To: 22 Grosvenor St. Toronto, Ontario
From: Ottawa Ladies' College Ottawa, Ontario

My dear Tim,

It seems a long time since I had written or heard from you and yet the time has been flying along.

I can't say that I have been doing anything special since I last wrote & I expect you haven't been doing anything special either studying for old exams. I'm sure you're tired of them so many years of it. Well we're finished our exam papers for the third term and are starting reports, and I'm pretty sick of those old things. But then there is no anxiety about them as there is about exams, so I shouldn't complain.

David Ross was here on Tuesday, on his way back to B.C. He saw you both he said. 1

On Monday night we went to the House [of Parliament] but there was nothing on except that Mr. Barker seems to be talking a lot about what I couldn't hear.

On Tuesday we went to see Holman Hunts picture "The Light of the World." It represents Christ standing knocking at the door. The door is covered with vines, the branches of which are thick and solid from years of growth, and weeds are growing up from the bottom, & the hinges and nails are rusty with age and the door looks as if it were hopeless to think of opening it and yet Christ still knocks. There is a beautiful light from His crown over His face and down the front of his robe & on His hand, and then in His left hand is the lantern of conscience which shines on the door & on the weeds (the sins which have grown) and on some apples (which represent hereditary sin). There is so much in the picture you have to let it grow on you for you don't care for it much at first sight. But if it comes to Toronto & it is to go to all the cities--you & Cal must go and see it & give it an hour if you can.2

This isn't much of a letter but I'll write a better one later when exams & reports are done.

Hoping you are keeping well in spite of exams. With much love,

Your loving sister

Ruby B. McQuesten


1 In 1906 David Ross proposed marriage to Ruby but her mother objected on the grounds that he was too young, uneducated, and had no secure future, so she asked that they wait two years. By that time, Ruby was in a sanatorium and too ill to consider marriage--she died in 1911 of Consumption (Tuberculosis). See W5622, W6135.


2 Holman Hunt (1827-1910) pre-raphaelite painter completed this painting in 1904.

Ruby was an artist and painted many water colours which are now on display at Whitehern Museum.




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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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